It is no secret that gas prices across the country are on the rise and have been for some time. In fact, the American Automobile Association (AAA) reported that the national average of fuel costs reached $3.53 as of May 2023. Fleet operators feel the weight of these price increases, contributing to more costly business operations. In recent years, driver shortages have been one of the most significant pain points for trucking companies and fleet operations. But as stated in a 2022 American Transportation Research Institute report, reducing fleet fuel costs has risen to the top of the list.

In 2022, fuel costs per mile increased by over 35% year-over-year, with fleets operating on the West Coast paying the highest amount for fuel at $.431 per mile. These rising fuel costs inhibit fleet operators, who must reallocate funds and factor in increased fuel prices to their operating costs. Using telematics and fuel data techniques, fleet operators can monitor and interpret fuel data to make measurable impacts on their business’s bottom line.

In this blog, we discuss five ways fuel data can be used to optimize your fleet operations and reduce operating costs. First, we need to understand what fuel data measures and how it can provide insights into improving fleet operations.

Breaking Down Fuel Data Telematics

Fleet telematics solutions utilize technology systems that compile and transmit data from vehicles in a fleet. Insights and information like vehicle location, speed, fuel usage, engine performance and driver behavior are gathered, sent, received and stored on onboard devices installed in fleet vehicles.

By leveraging GPS technology, onboard sensors and cellular or satellite communication, data is collected and transmitted to databases to be analyzed. Many operators choose to work with fleet partners who can make recommendations based on the incoming data to help improve fleet operations, optimize maintenance and reduce fuel consumption.

Putting Fuel Data IN Action

Once you have the complete picture of the data you can capture from your vehicle, it’s time to put it into action. There are five key ways fuel data can strengthen and improve your fleet’s operations.

1. Implement Fuel Management Solutions to Enhance Efficiency

Fuel management solutions can help you keep track of fuel usage, identify areas where fuel is being wasted and improve fuel efficiencies. Data can be used to analyze patterns and behaviors that lead to inefficiencies, highlighting areas where fuel is being wasted. This can help fleet operators develop strategies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce overall fuel consumption.

2. Increase Vehicle Uptime through Real-time Monitoring

Fuel data can improve fleet operations by helping to uncover vehicle issues or the cause of a DTC code. By monitoring fuel consumption and noticing drastic changes, you can quickly identify and repair fuel system malfunctions before they turn in to a more significant problem for the vehicle and your business.

3. Streamline Fuel Spending for Efficiency and Compliance

A comprehensive fuel management solution can help you simplify fuel purchases and streamline your fleet management process while also maintaining IFTA compliance. Leveraging fuel data within an integrated fuel management solution, you can track, monitor and analyze fuel consumption and subsequently improve vehicle efficiencies, reduce fuel waste and hold drivers accountable for unauthorized fuel purchases.

4. Boost Driver Accountability and prevent fuel card fraud

Holding drivers accountable is a main priority for all fleet operations. To ensure that unauthorized fuel purchases are not taking place, fuel data can be used to help identify instances of fuel card fraud within your fleet. By detecting and reducing fuel card fraud, you can save on fuel costs and prevent losses from fraudulent activities.

5. Reduce idling time for improved fuel efficiency and cost savings

Monitoring idling time can help identify instances where fuel is being wasted. The U.S. Department of Energy stated that more than six billion gallons of gasoline and diesel combined are lost due to idling every year. By reducing idling time, you can improve your fleet’s fuel efficiency and ultimately save on fuel and maintenance costs.

What Should I look for in a fleet partner?

Fuel data is the cornerstone of an effective fuel-saving strategy. By tracking fuel consumption trends over time, fleet managers and operators can identify trends and patterns that highlight areas of improvement. This data enables them to establish benchmarks and set realistic fuel-saving goals for their fleet. With access to real-time fuel data, managers can closely monitor fuel efficiency metrics – and it’s important to have the right partner to help.

Finding a fleet operations partner that can leverage fuel data is the key to optimizing performance and making measurable impacts on your bottom line. Partners such as MICHELIN Connected Fleet, Powered by NexTraq, can help you analyze your fuel-consumption data to identify areas to decrease your fleet’s operating costs and increase sustainability. Above all, you want to look for a partner that starts with a consultative approach, takes the time to understand your business challenges and crafts a solution tailored to your fleet.

Start optimizing your fleet operations today with the power of fuel data. Contact MICHELIN Connected Fleet at 800-358-6187 or online for more information.

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